Fear. Unfortunately, it exists. I like to think that I am untouchable by its presence but that simply is not the case. And so it is, thus far on this short journey on planet earth, I’ve yet to be convinced fear will ever be eradicated. From my life and yours.
But I also don’t believe we should do things afraid.
So what does that mean for those of us who struggle with fear?
I walked through those doors pretty certain of the outcome. If I had to put money on it, I would’ve bet a win. For me. As I set waiting for the judge to come out to deliver his truth, I wrote this one line, “God, your will be done. Not mine.”
Then our turn came. The request I was asking for would be decided. The peace I was trying to give my daughter would be on the line. And it was in the hands and at the mercy of a Los Angeles County judge.
While on hold for the court’s lunch break, I had hoped while enjoying his pb&j sandwich or milk and cookies, this judge would be hit with the epiphany of truth. I was hoping his stack of cookies would give him the wisdom to ask the right questions and my girl would get an extended break from the emotional rollercoaster that she so desperately needed.
But that wasn’t the case. That wasn’t the case at all.
“It’s not about the cards you’re dealt.”
With a gorgeous desert backdrop and rarely hesitating to shovel some of his savory life tips my way, he leaned back in his patio chair relishing in a favorite cigar.
“It’s how you play your hand.”
At thirty-eight, I enjoyed more than ever hearing my dad’s superpower — wisdom. My dad’s always had a sweet way of pouring into my hungry heart.
I know there is pain that I do not know, nor will I ever know all the pain delivered by this worlds heavy hand. I’m a firm believer we all suffer in deep places of discomfort to a degree that is painfully hard for each of us. The point of which we feel that pain arrives at different seasons and ages for each of us.
It is what we choose to do with the cards dealt us that separates, as they say, the wheat from the chaff.
I opened my eyes in the bedroom of my quaint little two-bedroom apartment in Las Vegas to face another sunny Sunday morning. The night before I had gone to bed with plans to attend church. Now that morning had arrived, I wasn’t that interested. I hesitantly moved toward the bathroom to prepare myself for the day, because I had begun to make a habit of disproportionately committing to plans I made and ridiculously attempting to fit in a mold I never cared for.
At that time in my life, God was becoming increasingly more important. It was for these reasons I felt obligated to get up and go to church. After all, it was Mother’s Day, and I was the lucky single mom to a precious, beautiful, tanned skinned, brown eyed 10-year-old baby girl.
So what was the problem?
Few things in life we learn are worth mentioning. Like tieing your shoes. We’ve all done it. Right? Boiling water. Not exactly brain surgery material. Taking out the trash. Ya. Good job.
And then there are the life lessons that come in time. Like enduring multiple storms and seasons of laborious heartache and pain to finally understand that in the middle of the storm, in the waiting rooms of our lives, it can be very easy to waste precious time.
We do this all too often.
When we are in the muck and mud of things, trying to dig ourselves out, why do we often pick up the wrong tools? Or just the opposite, when we are in a time of ease and good transition why do we not take notes and prepare our hearts for hard times, as if the hard seasons won’t come and go.
A lovely and very wise Indonesian friend of mine said it like this…
The first time I spoke with her was over the phone. She wanted to go to college, and I was working at the University of Phoenix as an enrollment counselor.
Her goal was to obtain a degree in art, and because she was in and out of the hospital with ongoing medical issues, she would need a college that would allow her to earn an education online.
I must admit, I had reservations about her physical ability to move forward in the completion of an associate degree, but it was her persistence, confidence, and determination that told me otherwise. She was going to college regardless of my enrolling her or not. I came to the decision that I was glad to be a part of her journey. I was more than excited to be the enrollment counselor who would cheer her on and help her succeed in whatever way was presented to me.
And that I did.
But what I didn’t know was that our crossing of paths that day on the phone would turn into an eight-year friendship where she would be the one enrolling me into a classroom of mine own. A class that would teach me life long lessons of love, courage, and friendship.
Sometimes we just need to take a break from the grind and hear something encouraging, sweet and deserving.
Because who is able to accomplish something great without being encouraged?
Few, my friend. Very few.
There was a time in my life I was very good at quitting. During high-school, I quit track and soccer. In that exact order.
Truth be told, if I’m digging a little deeper here, there were lots of things I quit in life.
- I quit believing in myself
- I quit trying
- I quit imagining the possibilities
- I quit loving myself
Thinking back to when I was a little girl…
My imagination ran to the wildest of places. One of my favorite childhood memories is that of me riding my pony, which was merely a saddle on a stand in a small 3 ft x 3 ft shed. But oh the miles I traveled while sitting on that pony, near the side of our little yellow house tucked deep in the woods. The indians I chased and the cowboys I ran with were enough to solidify any cowgirls wildest dreams.
But somewhere along the way, somewhere between little girl land and those tumultuous teenage years…
For thousands of years, generations of people have tempted to alter the definition of truth. Live outside of it, challenge it or simply, go against it. Growing up I recall forming my own opinion and believing “truth is relative”. My truth, of course, being most important here.
What I discovered along the way?
DISCLAIMER: If you are one of those sweet mom’s that bakes warm chocolate chip cookies for after school snacks, or the mom of a child under the age of two, this blog post may not be for you. Although, please feel free to go ahead and continue reading, but promise me this: you will stick around to teach me a few things.
It’s been a rough couple of weeks since school started. If I’m honest, it’s been a rough couple of years raising a teen, and I only have one at this age.
Oh! You say you have more than one teen in your home?? Dear God who created the universe can you strike my friend with lot’s of happy pills, unlimited vacations without children and joy.
Yes, lot’s of joy to laugh hysterically when she thinks she’s lost her mind. Because there will be a time, my friend, when you feel you have lost your mind, if you haven’t already.
My last few blogs have been how-to tips about time management, putting the kids to work and blah blah blah…
Today, I’m going to share what has not produced positive results in my house, currently and over the years. Let’s start with my #1 Go-To parenting tool when life becomes too emotionally intense to think logically. #Don’tJudge #JudgeFreeZone
It was 2004, and it was bad. As in, your life is a sinking hole of sewer scum. The toilet is still flushing with you in it, and you are going down the tubes faster than a rat up a drainpipe. Am I descriptive enough here? Let me explain it more clearly…
There was a second round of cockroaches scurrying about in my kitchen cabinets, at one point they wandered into my bedroom and met me in bed. Ya, gross! Never have I co-existed with roaches. The refrigerator had just gone out, and the food was spoiling quickly. The food I bought? I couldn’t even afford. I bought it on food stamps (thank God for those bad boys and the E.B.T card that came soon after so I didn’t have to pull out stamps to make a food purchase!).
That was just the warm-up intro to impress you. Let me continue…